June 20, 2023

What is Polyarthritis?

You may have heard of the term ‘polyarthritis’, or indeed been told you have it. Polyarthritis refers to arthritis that affects more than 5 joints. It is most commonly due to an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks various joints. The most common type is rheumatoid arthritis, where the joints become red and swollen, it commonly affects the hands among other joints.

Can Polyarthritis be treated?

Polyarthritis is often genetic but there are a number of things that can be done to help, even if there is not necessarily a cure. The aim is to reduce the likelihood and severity of flare-ups but it is usually a long-term condition that needs managing. It is recommended to see your GP, who may refer you to a Rheumatologist and you may be prescribed disease-modifying drugs which can prevent the immune system from attacking the joints.

Physiotherapy can also help, largely through exercise which keep the joints moving and muscles strong, which is turn protects the joints. Education about lifestyle and pacing your activities can also help to avoid making the joints too inflamed. Being active can help keep your weight down, thus reducing load on the joints. Other treatments such as joint mobilisation for stiffness and acupuncture may help with the pain. Taking regular pain relief and using hot/cold therapy may also help with pain and swelling. See the link below for more information about Physiotherapy and what it involves:


When the cause of the pain is osteoarthritis, which relates more to degenerative changes, Ostenil injections may also help. Corticosteroid injections may be useful when there is inflammation and swelling. Ostenil is essentially nutrition for the fluid in the joint space and contains hyaluronic acid, which can help with pain and stiffness. Please see link below for more information about this type of injection which we can offer in clinic if we think it may help:


If you are experiencing multiple joint pains, is it definitely worth getting a physiotherapy assessment to help find out the likely cause and what can be done to manage the condition. If you would like further advice from one of our physiotherapists, feel free to get in touch by emailing info@physiotherapymatters.co.uk or calling 0191 285 8701.


No matter whether your condition was caused by a sport, work accident or otherwise, we welcome the chance to serve you.

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